Last week I visited my brother-in-law’s wedding and the succeeding wedding party. I decided to capture the vibrance of the event by using a slow shutter speed and a modest flash.
The venue that hosted the wedding party, was pretty dark. Not using a flash was not an option and using a standard flash would have blown away all the ambiance and movement. So I opted for a slow shutter speed. This would catch all the colorful disco lights and the movement of my subjects. To avoid completely blurry photos, I used a modest flash to freeze my subjects in time.
As you can see in the photo above, I chose a shutter speed of one-fourth of a second. This caught the red, green, purple and blue disco lights and some movement by the subjects. The flash fires in a split second. No matter how long you set your exposure time, the flash will freeze your subjects. Combining a slow shutter speed with flash can create very nice effects.
In this photo, you can see more movement. That’s because I upped the exposure time to one second. The flash helps to freeze the subjects, but you can still see movement caused by motion blur.
Here you see the bride illuminated by the moving red and blue lights. If I would have opted for a fast shutter speed, only a fraction of the party lights would have hit the camera sensor. This would have resulted in a very dull photo.
This last photo illustrates what would happen, if I wouldn’t have used a flash. I would have had to raise my ISO a lot. Which I try to avoid, because my camera doesn’t handle high ISO’s very well. Apart from that, I would have had to use a high shutter speed. This would result is a very dark and noisy photo. I still kind of like this photo though.
Have you yourself used flash combined with a slow shutter speed, or is this not your cup of tea? I’d like to hear what you think in the comments below!
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